Musical

Broadway to Hollywood (1933) Willard Mack, Jules White, Alice Brady, Frank Morgan, Jackie Cooper, History, Musical

Broadway to Hollywood (1933)
Ted and Lulu Hackett are vaudeville’s The Hacketts, a fairly successful song-and-dance team. They bring their son Ted Jr. up in the business and he soon eclipses them. When the son is offered a starring role on Broadway, he arranges for his parents to join him in the show, but Ted Sr. is embarrassed to learn that he and Lulu are there purely in order to keep their son happy. They return to vaudeville, only to find that their duet act has gone stale with time. Meanwhile, Ted Jr. has married and had a son, but he has also fallen victim to drink. Tragedy strikes the Hackett family, and only the march of time will tell whether Ted III will repeat the failings of his father and grandfather.

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Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993) François Girard, Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan, Biography, Drama, Music

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
As the title suggests, this dramatised documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’, the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould’s life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould’s own recordings, which are extensively featured.

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The Five Pennies (1959) Melville Shavelson, Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, Louis Armstrong, Biography, Drama, Music

The Five Pennies (Melville Shavelson, 1959)
Loring “Red” Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise’s band, but quits to pursue his dream of playing Dixieland jazz. He forms the “Five Pennies” which features his wife, Bobbie, as vocalist. At the peak of his fame, Red and Bobbie’s daughter, Dorothy, develops polio. Red quits the music business to move to Los Angeles where the climate is better for Dorothy. As Dorothy becomes a young teen, she learns of her father’s musical past, and he is persuaded to open a small nightclub which is failing until some noted names from his past come to help out.

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First Love (1939) Henry Koster, Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack, Eugene Pallette, Comedy, Musical

First Love (1939)
In this reworking of Cinderella, orphaned Connie Harding is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle after graduating from boarding school. She’s hardly received with open arms, especially by her snobby cousin Barbara. When the entire family is invited to a major social ball, Barbara sees to it that Connie is forced to stay home. With the aid of her uncle, who acts as her fairy godfather, Connie makes it to the ball and meets her Prince Charming in Ted Drake, her cousin’s boyfriend.

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The Beggar’s Opera (1953) Peter Brook, Laurence Olivier, Hugh Griffith, George Rose, Crime, History, Musical

The Beggar's Opera (Peter Brook, 1953)
Authentic rendering of John Gay’s 18th century musical, filmed in Technicolor, about Captain MacHeath, a highwayman, and his love for too many beautiful women. Betrayed by Jenny and Sukey, two of his bygone lovers, and temporarily freed by two others, MacHeath is arrested and condemned to death. While waiting to be hanged, the captain is entertained by a musical beggar, who has written an opera of which the highwayman is the hero.

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Sweet and Lowdown (1999) Woody Allen, Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Comedy, Drama, Music

Sweet and Lowdown (Woody Allen, 1999)
A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray’s life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music.

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Sokout / The Silence (1998) Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Tahmineh Normatova, Nadereh Abdelahyeva, Goibibi Ziadolahyeva, Drama, Music

Sokout (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1998)
Because of his special gift in identifying objects by the sounds they make, a blind young boy is employed as a string instrument tuner in a small village in Tajikistan. He may be blind but that does not mean he cannot see. On his way to work, he could tell the quality of the bread the young girls along the streets are peddling by simply touching their ware. His world is made more colorful and quaint because of his sensitivity to his surroundings. The only problem is that he is easily “tempted” by street musicians’ performances and arrives late at work.

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